What happened with Alsace? Or rather; what happened with me and Alsace?
Going back 15 years or so in time, I recall some quite fond memories of Alsace greatness in my innocent vinous youth. The Rolly-Gassmann Sylvaner with crab at one of (then) Sweden’s best restaurants on my 25th birthday, was such a pairing that I’ve simply been imitating the combination since. Sylvaner and crab; yes please. However, I found out that the Franken versions were just as good – an Austrian Gruner Veltliner as well – and slowly I forgot about the Rolly-Gassmann (which by the way really is a fine producer worth checking out).
And the Close Ste Hune vertical! Can’t forget one of the most amazing tastings I’ve had the joy to participate in. Several vintages of both the dry wine and also classic years of the Vendange Tardive and the Selction Grain Nobles. Not to mention the Close Ste Hune I drank in the beginning of the millennium at Denmark’s then best restaurant, Kommandanten. Really sad it closed. Loved that wine list.
I guess Germany took the lead and I plunged in to the wines of Mosel, Pfalz, Franken and Nahe. Somehow I forgot about Alsace. Sure, the French nuked an atoll at the very same time and people started boycotting French products, but that hardly affected a Bordeaux aficionado like myself. Still remembering several in the circle of acquaintances becoming aggressive when I gladly bought and served French wines and/or cheeses, but couldn’t answer why they didn’t boycott a majority of the products in their homes, from countries hardly famous for their political persecution, lack of human rights or view on child work. Hypocrisy.
Anyhow, sometimes you just need a reminder, a glass that instantly takes you back memory wise, and reactivates the slumbering preferences. I’ve had a few from Alsace the last year which have had that impact on me. Especially one, the 2000 Burg Bergheim from Marcel Deiss.
2000 Burg Bergheim
Served to me blind. At start it feels tired and almost a bit unclean on the nose. The taste is better though. Still, the general feeling is pretty dull and the “over the hill” feeling….unstoppable. We leave the wine behind and put focus on the other two tasted. An hour later, the wine has completely changed its appearance! Now it’s filled with scents of honey, dried flowers, orange peel, wet earth and apricots. There’s also a slight diesel scent on the nose but thankfully it stops at slight. This nose is gorgeous! Mature, yet vivid.
Quite oily in its structure and yet with a marked acidity and floral notes. I’m thinking Riesling but struggles to find a way to fit in those flowers. Pinot Gris? Which also is my guess. But it’s not; it’s a blend of Gewurztraminer and Riesling! So cool taste. Dry, yet generous with the honey. Mineral driven, yet never dominant notes. Apricot and peaches with a orange like acidity. Long. This will not likely evolve further but for sure keep at this level a while. Lesson learned. Again. I think. Never judge too quickly. Never underestimate the need of decanting white wines with age.
Find the Burg Bergheim from Marcel Deiss? Use the wine-searcher box in the top right corner.